"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." Joel 2:28
The verse above is also found in Acts 2:17- I always find it interesting when a scripture is important enough to be repeated more than once. I've been meaning to do another post here for a while now on dreams, because it's something that I'm becoming more and more familiar with. Yesterday, I was looking in my jewelry case for a pair of earrings to wear to church. I was looking for something kind of specific, and as I shifted things around digging, I moved a necklace and earring set that I never wear. It is a set that was given to me many years ago by an old boyfriend's mom (I think). They are dreamcatchers. Native American symbols- weavings with feathers hanging from their centers. Lore has it that the people would make these and put them over their beds as they slept, and it would help give them good dreams- and keep the nightmares out. The reason I haven't worn this jewelry isn't because I don't like it, but because as symbols, I was concerned that someone would see them and think I was dabbling in spiritual things that were not from God.
Last night, though, as I looked at those earrings, a startling realization came to me. All those years ago, when this lady was giving me this jewelry set, I think she was being prophetic without knowing it. I think those dreamcatchers were symbolic at the time of me in the future. I smiled as I looked at them yesterday, not because of the memories of receiving them or the lady who gave them to me, but because I saw, very clearly that they were not evil symbols at all. Rather, they spoke volumes about who I am becoming. And that is a dreamcatcher. I am recognizing more and more when God speaks to me in my dreams. The cool part? We all are dreamcatchers. Every single one of us has the potential to communicate with God via our dreams. Sometimes, it can be as simple as laying down to go to sleep and asking God to visit you in your dreams. God wants to talk to His children, and since sometimes, we're not so easy to get ahold of during our busy days- what better than to utilize the times when we are sleeping?
I just wanted to take some time to encourage anyone who visits here to take some time and dwell on the dream world for a bit. Recurring dreams or dreams that you vibrantly remember may very well be something God wants to tell you. The trick to dreams though is that most often we need to dig in, to understand the different symbols and ideas that God is trying to get across. The easiest way to learn to understand what our dreams our telling us? Ask God to show us. Often times, when I do that, the answers don't come right away at all. I have to think on them and think on them- and I ask God why I dreamt of that particular person. I also spend a lot of time in my Bible- because I want to be sure that any meanings or interpretations are from God and not just me making something up. The one thing that I really, really need to get back to doing is writing down my dreams. They've been coming at a rapid pace the last few weeks, and I'm ashamed to say that I don't remember some of them- there have been so many. But let me see if I can give you a few examples of some dreams and possible meanings.
A few weeks ago I think I mentioned that I was woken up and really felt the urge to pray for someone. That happens to me quite a bit. I'll be dreaming about someone and as I come out of the dream, I physically wake. It's in that moment that I really remember the dream, and I always take my sudden waking as a sign to think on that dream. Right then and there I think about it and ask God if it's from Him. A lot of times, I feel it is and I'll just start praying for whoever it is. Sometimes it's someone I know well, sometimes it's someone I haven't seen for years. Sometimes it's someone I don't know- but know of. Like this last one. Truly strange in my mind, I was woken up in the middle of the night to pray for a Hollywood actor. I suppose it shouldn't be strange, because God loves ALL his children, but still. It felt a little strange to be lying in my bed praying for this actor. But I did. And the very next morning when I turned on the computer, I saw they had made the headlines- and not for a good reason. I confess that I do wonder what my prayers prevented- and hope that they made a difference.
I also had a dream the other night that I was running with a rock star. We were trying to evade crowds, and I remember in my dream asking him if his stardom was worth all the hassle- and he looked at me and smiled and said "oh yeah." I thought it was just a random dream, but then I opened up my Bible and read where Jesus was being followed by crowds.
"Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. 20Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you." 21He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice." Luke 8:19-21
While I don't know that the dream had any specific meaning for me- it did give me a glimpse at a character trait of Jesus that I may not have thought about before.
The other night I had another dream that I didn't realize had double meanings for me either. I had a dream about a friend who we have not seen in over a year. They've been in our prayers a bit, but we just have not made it a priority to get together with them. This dream kind of pointed that out to me, actually. So when I woke up in the morning, I really felt I needed to just send a little note to let this friend know that we have been praying for them and continue to do so. While I was composing this note to him, I suddenly had a need to write to him a portion of my dream- with an interpretation of the symbol that I had no idea was a symbol- or needed to be interpreted. I am praying that brings him great encouragement, because I just sense that he needed it, and I also pray that my actions were exactly what God wanted from me.
You know, when I first started having a few of what I call "God Dreams" I was a little nervous about it. In fact, when I shared my dreams with a few people, I got that look... that look like, um, okay, nice dream and all, but they don't really mean anything. So I went to my Bible. And I read the book of Daniel and the book of Ezekiel. And then I went and read about Joseph in Egypt, and Peter in the New Testament. All these men dreamed dreams- and most of them received interpretations after some prayer as well. (Or in some cases, after much prayer.) I honestly did go through a period of a few months where I didn't have any dreams, and I think it was maybe because I doubted, because I wasn't sure I wanted to understand. And yet... I decided that if I did dream dreams that I would be in fantastic company. When I go through a period of time now where I am not dreaming, I go back to Daniel, Ezekiel, Genesis and Acts and read about these dreamers in scripture, and I ask God to show me more. He always does.
I still have many dreams that I've dreamt that I think are significant or mean something, but I have no meaning yet- and many of these are over a year old now. Yet they keep coming to mind, and I'm sure that someday, God will show me what they mean. Even more- as I see some of the people I have dreamt about, I feel an extra dose of compassion or love for them. When I see that actor on TV or my computer screen, I'm praying extra for him to know God's love. When I see other people that I've dreamt about, I make sure I ask them how they are doing and let them know I'm praying for them. If nothing else, my dreams have become a prayer tool for me- and how can that ever be a bad thing. I am no longer afraid of the looks of others- being a dreamcatcher is part of the fabric of being me. It's part of how God made me, and if it brings Him glory and maybe it will bring someone to Christ down the road- it simply can't be a bad thing. I love that my Father talks to me in my sleep, and there are days where sleep doesn't come fast enough, because I am so eager to see what He has to say to me. And so I'll sign off today with some links to scripture about people who dream. Read them, enjoy them, and meditate on them, and then ask God to show you. He just may do that.
Genesis 37 and Genesis 42